Two smart marketing people resurrect some old films starring cowboy Smoky Callaway and put them on television. The films are a big hit and the star is in demand. Unfortunately no one can ...
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Two smart marketing people resurrect some old films starring cowboy Smoky Callaway and put them on television. The films are a big hit and the star is in demand. Unfortunately no one can find him. When a lookalike sends in a photo, the marketing team hires him to impersonate Callaway. Things get sticky when the real Callaway eventually shows up. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fred MacMurray and Hugh Beaumont brush shoulders in a hotel hallway near the end of the film. They would each go on to play iconic TV fathers in separate series - MacMurray in My Three Sons (1960-1972) and Beaumont in Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963). See more »
Card at the end states: 'This picture was made in the spirit of fun, and was meant in no way to detract from the wholesome influence, civic mindedness and the many charitable contributions of Western idols of our American youth, or to be a portrayal of any of them.' See more »
"Callaway Went Thataway" is a slight comedy enlivened by some fine performances by Dorothy McGuire, Fred MacMurray, Howard Keel and Jesse White. As television was threatening to take over the film industry, MGM produced this send-up of the TV western hero craze. Smoky Callaway's old movies are being run on TV and are such a hit with kids that an enormous licensing potential develops for Smoky products and endorsements, plus the making of more Smoky movies. One small problem - Smoky done left the corral 10 years earlier and no one - including his agent (White) knows where he went. The ad agency partners (McGuire and MacMurray) find a lookalike, Stretch Barnes, a simple man with simple needs, and convince him to take Smoky's place, claiming that Smoky is dead. All goes well until Smoky's agent finds the real Callaway, a womanizing boozer, and brings him back.
This is a fun film for baby boomers who grew up with Gabby Hayes, Roy Rogers, The Cisco Kid, The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers etc. etc. and who used all the products that carried their hero's face: the cereals, the lunch boxes, the toys. Howard Keel is terrific in the dual role of sweet, sensitive, aw shucks ma'm Stretch and the hard-drinking slob Smoky. McGuire is lovely in her role, and MacMurray does well as her less conscience-stricken partner.
MGM takes the opportunity to plug its stars - there are cameos of Esther Williams, Elizabeth Taylor, and Clark Gable, and there are lots of future TV stars as well. Besides Jesse White, there's Stan Frieberg, Natalie Schaeffer, and in an uncredited role, Hugh Beaumont. Fun viewing.
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